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The Hybrid Cloud Guide
With so many organizations looking to find ways to embrace the public cloud without compromising the security of their data and applications, a hybrid cloud strategy is rapidly becoming the preferred method of efficiently delivering IT services. This guide aims to provide you with an understanding of the driving factors behind why the cloud is being adopted en-masse, as well as advice on how to begin building your own cloud strategy.

With so many organizations looking to find ways to embrace the public cloud without compromising the security of their data and applications, a hybrid cloud strategy is rapidly becoming the preferred method of efficiently delivering IT services.

This guide aims to provide you with an understanding of the driving factors behind why the cloud is being adopted en-masse, as well as advice on how to begin building your own cloud strategy.

Topics discussed include:
•    Why Cloud?
•    Getting There Safely
•    IT Resilience in the Hybrid Cloud
•    The Power of Microsoft Azure and Zerto

You’ll find out how, by embracing the cloud, organizations can achieve true IT Resilience – the ability to withstand any disruption, confidently embrace change and focus on business.

Download the guide today to begin your journey to the cloud!

Microsoft Azure Cloud Cost Calculator
Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs! Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!

Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs!

Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!  

How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

Office 365 / Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 contain truly powerful applications that can significantly boost productivity in the workplace. However, there’s a lot on offer so we’ve put together a comprehensive companion guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment! This free 85-page eBook, written by Microsoft Certified Trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers everything from basic descriptions, to installation, migration, use-cases, and best practices for all features within the Office/Microsoft 365 sui

Welcome to this free eBook on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 brought to you by Altaro Software. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of these powerful cloud packages and improve your business. This book follows an informal reference format providing an overview of the most powerful applications of each platform’s feature set in addition to links directing to supporting information and further reading if you want to dig further into a specific topic. The intended audience for this book is administrators and IT staff who are either preparing to migrate to Office/Microsoft 365 or who have already migrated and who need to get the lay of the land. If you’re a developer looking to create applications and services on top of the Microsoft 365 platform, this book is not for you. If you’re a business decision-maker, rather than a technical implementer, this book will give you a good introduction to what you can expect when your organization has been migrated to the cloud and ways you can adopt various services in Microsoft 365 to improve the efficiency of your business.

THE BASICS

We’ll cover the differences (and why one might be more appropriate for you than the other) in more detail later but to start off let’s just clarify what each software package encompasses in a nutshell. Office 365 (from now on referred to as O365) 7 is an email collaboration and a host of other services provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas Microsoft 365 (M365) is Office 365 plus Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune – cloud-based management of devices and security and Windows 10 Enterprise. Both are per user-based subscription services that require no (or very little) infrastructure deployments on-premises.

Mind The Gap: Understanding the threats to your Office 365 data
Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can prevent, or mitigate, these common Office 365 data threats: External threats like ransomware, Malicious insiders, User-errors and accidental keystrokes.
From corporate contacts to sensitive messages and attachments, email systems at all companies contain some of the most important data needed to keep business running and successful. At the same time, your office productivity suite of documents, notes and spreadsheets created by your employees is equally vital. Unfortunately, in both cases, protecting that data is increasingly challenging. Microsoft provides what some describe as marginal efforts to protect and backup data, however the majority of the burden is placed on the customer.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can prevent, or mitigate, these common Office 365 data threats:
•    External threats like ransomware
•    Malicious insiders
•    User-errors and accidental keystrokes

The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
If you're used to on-premises infrastructures, cloud platforms can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. This eBook written by the veteran IT consultant and trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers all aspects of setting up and maintaining a high-performing Azure IaaS environment, including: • VM sizing and deployment • Migration • Storage and networking • Security and identity • Infrastructure as code and more!

The cloud computing era is well and truly upon us, and knowing how to take advantage of the benefits of this computing paradigm while maintaining security, manageability, and cost control are vital skills for any IT professional in 2020 and beyond. And its importance is only getting greater.

In this eBook, we’re going to focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on Microsoft’s Azure platform - learning how to create VMs, size them correctly, manage storage, networking, and security, along with backup best practices. You’ll also learn how to operate groups of VMs, deploy resources based on templates, managing security and automate your infrastructure. If you currently have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, we’ll also teach you that.

If you’re new to the cloud (or have experience with AWS/GCP but not Azure), this book will cover the basics as well as more advanced skills. Given how fast things change in the cloud, we’ll cover the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll have the theoretical knowledge to effectively adapt and know how to proceed.

You’ll benefit most from this book if you actively follow along with the tutorials. We will be going through terms and definitions as we go – learning by doing has always been my preferred way of education. If you don’t have access to an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial with Microsoft. This will give you 30 days 6 to use $200 USD worth of Azure resources, along with 12 months of free resources. Note that most of these “12 months” services aren’t related to IaaS VMs (apart from a few SSD based virtual disks and a small VM that you can run for 750 hours a month) so be sure to get everything covered on the IaaS side before your trial expires. There are also another 25 services that have free tiers “forever”.

Now you know what’s in store, let’s get started!

IDC: SaaS Backup and Recovery: Simplified Data Protection Without Compromise
Although the majority of organizations have a "cloud first" strategy, most also continue to manage onsite applications and the backup infrastructure associated with them. However, many are moving away from backup specialists and instead are leaving the task to virtual infrastructure administrators or other IT generalists. Metallic represents Commvault's direct entry into one of the fastest-growing segments of the data protection market. Its hallmarks are simplicity and flexibility of deployment

Metallic is a new SaaS backup and recovery solution based on Commvault's data protection software suite, proven in the marketplace for more than 20 years. It is designed specifically for the needs of medium-scale enterprises but is architected to grow with them based on data growth, user growth, or other requirements. Metallic initially offers either monthly or annual subscriptions through reseller partners; it will be available through cloud service providers and managed service providers over time. The initial workload use cases for Metallic include virtual machine (VM), SQL Server, file server, MS Office 365, and endpoint device recovery support; the company expects to add more use cases and supported workloads as the solution evolves.

Metallic is designed to offer flexibility as one of the service's hallmarks. Aspects of this include:

  • On-demand infrastructure: Metallic manages the cloud-based infrastructure components and software for the backup environment, though the customer will still manage any of its own on- premise infrastructure. This environment will support on-premise, cloud, and hybrid workloads. IT organizations are relieved of the daily task of managing the infrastructure components and do not have to worry about upgrades, OS or firmware updates and the like, for the cloud infrastructure, so people can repurpose that time saved toward other activities.
  • Metallic offers preconfigured plans designed to have users up and running in approximately 15 minutes, eliminating the need for a proof-of-concept test. These preconfigured systems have Commvault best practices built into the design, or organizations can configure their own.
  • Partner-delivered services: Metallic plans to go to market with resellers that can offer a range of services on top of the basic solution's capabilities. These services will vary by provider and will give users a variety of choices when selecting a provider to match the services offered with the organization's needs.
  • "Bring your own storage": Among the flexible options of Metallic, including VM and file or SQL database use cases, users can deploy their own storage, either on-premise or in the cloud, while utilizing the backup/recovery services of Metallic. The company refers to this option as "SaaS Plus."
Conversational Geek: Azure Backup Best Practices
Topics: Azure, Backup, Veeam
Get 10 Azure backup best practices direct from two Microsoft MVPs!
Get 10 Azure backup best practices direct from two Microsoft MVPs! As the public cloud started to gain mainstream acceptance, people quickly realized that they had to adopt two different ways of doing things. One set of best practices – and tools – applied to resources that were running on premises, and an entirely different set applied to cloud resources. Now the industry is starting to get back to the point where a common set of best practices can be applied regardless of where an organization’s IT resources physically reside.
Conversational Microsoft Teams Backup
In this Conversational Geek e-book you will learn: The different types of data you need to backup up in Microsoft Teams 6 key reasons why it is important to backup Microsoft Teams Why native backup capabilities of Office 365 are not enough
In this Conversational Geek e-book you will learn:
  • The different types of data you need to backup up in Microsoft Teams
  • 6 key reasons why it is important to backup Microsoft Teams
  • Why native backup capabilities of Office 365 are not enough
The Backup Bible – Complete Edition
In the modern workplace, your data is your lifeline. A significant data loss can cause irreparable damage. Every company must ask itself - is our data properly protected? Learn how to create a robust, effective backup and DR strategy and how put that plan into action with the Backup Bible – a free eBook written by backup expert and Microsoft MVP Eric Siron. The Backup Bible Complete Edition features 200+ pages of actionable content divided into 3 core parts, including 11 customizable templates

Part 1 explains the fundamentals of backup and how to determine your unique backup specifications. You'll learn how to:

  • Get started with backup and disaster recovery planning
  • Set recovery objectives and loss tolerances
  • Translate your business plan into a technically oriented outlook
  • Create a customized agenda for obtaining key stakeholder support
  • Set up a critical backup checklist

Part 2 shows you what exceptional backup looks like on a daily basis and the steps you need to get there, including:

  • Choosing the Right Backup and Recovery Software
  • Setting and Achieving Backup Storage Targets
  • Securing and Protecting Backup Data
  • Defining Backup Schedules
  • Monitoring, Testing, and Maintaining Systems

Part 3 guides you through the process of creating a reliable disaster recovery strategy based on your own business continuity requirements, covering:

  • Understanding key disaster recovery considerations
  • Mapping out your organizational composition
  • Replication
  • Cloud solutions
  • Testing the efficacy of your strategy
  • The Backup Bible is the complete guide to protecting your data and an essential reference book for all IT admins and professionals.


Introduction to Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop
This whitepaper provides an overview of WVD and a historical perspective of the evolution of Windows desktops – especially multi-session Windows. This paper was authored by industry veterans with active involvement in multi-session Windows desktop computing since its inception in the early 1990s. Disclaimer: Professionals at Liquidware, a Microsoft WVD partner, authored this paper based on information available at the time of writing.
Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) on September 30, 2019. The release came after an initial public-preview-evaluation program that lasted about six months. This whitepaper provides an overview of WVD and a historical perspective of the evolution of Windows desktops – especially multi-session Windows. This paper was authored by industry veterans with active involvement in multi-session Windows desktop computing since its inception in the early 1990s. Disclaimer: Professionals at Liquidware, a Microsoft WVD partner, authored this paper based on information available at the time of writing. Information regarding WVD is evolving quickly; consequently, readers should understand that this whitepaper (v2.0) presents the most up-to-date information available. Any inaccuracies in this paper are unintentional. Research and buying decisions are ultimately the readers’ responsibility.
Optimising Performance for Office 365 and Large Profiles with ProfileUnity ProfileDisk
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware Labs in order to provide guidance to adopters of desktop virtualization technologies. In this paper, two types of profile management with ProfileUnity are outlined: (1) ProfileDisk and (2) Profile Portability. This paper covers best practice recommendations for each technology and when they can be used together. ProfileUnity is the only full featured UEM solution on the market to feature an embedded ProfileDisk technology and the advanta

Managing Windows user profiles can be a complex and challenging process. Better profile management is usually sought by organizations looking to reduce Windows login times, accommodate applications that do not adhere to best practice application data storage, and to give users the flexibility to login to any Windows Operating System (OS) and have their profile follow them.

Note that additional profile challenges and solutions are covered in a related ProfileUnity whitepaper entitled “User Profile and Environment Management with ProfileUnity.” To efficiently manage the complex challenges of today’s diverse Windows profile environments, Liquidware ProfileUnity exclusively features two user profile technologies that can be used together or separately depending on the use case. These include:

1. ProfileDisk™, a virtual disk based profile that delivers the entire profile as a layer from an attached user VHD or VMDK, and

2. Profile Portability, a file and registry based profile solution that restores files at login, post login, or based on environment triggers.

Why MSPs Prefer Microsoft 365 over Office 365
Take a look into Microsoft 365 and see how your business can design, package, and deliver services to increase your bottom line with this white paper from BitTitan.
Meet Microsoft 365, an extension of the Office suite that includes tools for the complete management of users’ operating systems, mobile devices, and network security. But these tools don’t do all the work themselves. As your customer’s trusted technology partner, additional management duties fall to you. They also present new opportunities for project-based and recurring revenue. In this white paper from BitTitan, we dive into Microsoft 365 and how your business can design, package and deliver services to increase your bottom line.
Planning for Office 365 Tenant Migrations
Learn how BitTitan MigrationWiz helps you support coexistence among Office 365 tenants during long-term projects in this white paper.
From consolidating business units after an acquisition to splitting up an existing tenant, the frequency of Office 365 tenant migrations is only increasing. Just like any other type of migration, the key to success lies in a thorough, tested project plan.

In this white paper from BitTitan, we outline the top approaches to planning and preparing for your Office 365 tenant migration including:

  • Assessing the Source environment and mapping dependencies
  • Determining what needs to be migrated
  • Planning the cutover
  • Handling scale and complexity through automation with MigrationWiz
The Handbook for Teams Migrations
Microsoft Teams quickly gaining users as a popular collaboration application. Discover the top pre- and post- migration considerations for a successful Microsoft Teams tenant to tenant migrations in this white paper from BitTitan.

The popular workstream collaboration application from Microsoft is quickly gaining users amidst the ongoing shift to Office 365. As adoption continues to grow, so too does the need to migrate Teams instances as part of the broader tenant-to-tenant migration scenario.

In this white paper from BitTitan, we outline the top pre- and post-migration considerations necessary to ensure a successful project for this new workload.

CloudCasa - Kubernetes and Cloud Database Protection as a Service
CloudCasa™ was built to address data protection for Kubernetes and cloud native infrastructure, and to bridge the data management and protection gap between DevOps and IT Operations. CloudCasa is a simple, scalable and cloud-native BaaS solution built using Kubernetes for protecting Kubernetes and cloud databases. CloudCasa removes the complexity of managing traditional backup infrastructure, and it provides the same level of application-consistent data protection and disaster recovery that IT O

CloudCasa supports all major Kubernetes managed cloud services and distributions, provided they are based on Kubernetes 1.13 or above. Supported cloud services include Amazon EKS, DigitalOcean, Google GKE, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, and Microsoft AKS. Supported Kubernetes distributions include Kubernetes.io, Red Hat OpenShift, SUSE Rancher, and VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. Multiple worker node architectures are supported, including x86-64, ARM, and S390x.

With CloudCasa, managing data protection in complex hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments is as easy as managing it for a single cluster. Just add your multiple clusters and cloud databases to CloudCasa, and you can manage backups across them using common policies, schedules, and retention times. And you can see and manage all your backups in a single easy-to-use GUI.

Top 10 Reasons for Using CloudCasa:

  1. Backup as a service
  2. Intuitive UI
  3. Multi-Cluster Management
  4. Cloud database protection
  5. Free Backup Storage
  6. Secure Backups
  7. Account Compromise Protection
  8. Cloud Provider Outage Protection
  9. Centralized Catalog and Reporting
  10. Backups are Monitored

With CloudCasa, we have your back based on Catalogic Software’s many years of experience in enterprise data protection and disaster recovery. Our goal is to do all the hard work for you to backup and protect your multi-cloud, multi-cluster, cloud native databases and applications so you can realize the operational efficiency and speed of development advantages of containers and cloud native applications.